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fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
17,745 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2008 Volkswagen Jetta transmission problems

transmission problem

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2008 Volkswagen Jetta Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #26

Jun 302011

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 38,000 miles


In take off hard clutch kicking, during drive hard shifting, problems with reverse and gearbox not responding. The mechatronic unit was changed in my vehicle after it was working fine due to a recall and now the car has severe problems.

- Margate, FL, USA

problem #25

Mar 012008


  • 102,824 miles
1. no prior warning before failure occurred; 2. the automatic transmission will not go into reverse; this occurs everytime after the initial instance; consequence is that the car can not be backed up; 3. the dealer has reviewed and wanted new transmission but no guarantee it wouldn't happen again. Have also taken to independent service for vws and serviced transmission but indicated internal mechanisms needed to be inspected by VW dealer.

- Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #24

Jan 242011

Jetta 5-cyl

  • 26,000 miles
The following relates to a 2008 Jetta 2.0L wolfsburg edition sedan. Three times in the last month the vehicle has suddenly lost motive power, with the engine quickly dropping to 0 RPM, with all 3 incidents occurring during busy traffic conditions. After the first incident, the car was able to restart, and was brought to the dealer. A fuel pressure sensor was replaced. Two weeks later, the exact same incident occurred, but the car could not be restarted. Vehicle was towed to dealer, and the fuel pump was replaced. While in the shop, the dealer stated that there was a recall on a part within the transmission, which was order and replaced. Upon receiving the car the 2nd time, the vehicle behaved noticeably different - poor acceleration, unusual shifting, sudden jerking and lurching while idling. Three days after receiving the car, once again a complete loss of motive power during heavy traffic. Now waiting for a second tow, and third visit to the dealer service department. These incidents pose serious safety threats, since the sudden loss of power seems to unrelated to vehicle operation status - ie, speed, incline, etc do not affect the vehicle's sudden loss of power, and thus can occur in any traffic condition.

- Cambridge, MA, USA

problem #23

Jul 012009


  • 14,000 miles


Volkswagen Jetta dsg mechatronics failure.

- Clinton Township, MI, USA

problem #22

Sep 122010


  • 32,900 miles
Volkswagen Jetta dsg mechatronics failure.

- Clinton Township, MI, USA

problem #21

Sep 172009


  • 7,800 miles
2008 Volkswagen Jetta wolfsburg 2.0T fsi dsg (direct shift gearbox) while pulling out into traffic on numerous occasions from a full standstill there was a very significant delay in the response of the dsg transmission to driver throttle input. There will be a 1-2-3 go, (delay) the car will then jerk forward out into traffic then only creep very slowly forward at this point which commits the car and it's passengers to the maneuver of turning into active traffic pattern. This delay/jerk/then creeping forward has caused a few close calls with having an accident from oncoming traffic. The possibility of traffic colliding into this vehicle is very high as the car does not respond to driver throttle input leaving you dead in the water until the car finally decides to move itself forward. This is a very dangerous situation which could very easily result in significant injury or death. When one purchases and drives a car one would expect the car to properly respond to driver inputs and not be left in oncoming traffic with a car that wont respond to the driver.

- Sanford, FL, USA

problem #20

Aug 102009


  • miles


There was no specific event that led up to the problems. I bought the car brand new and problems began after about 4 months.the car "bucks" or "jerks" when gas pedal depressed to accelerate. Also when pulling out or when car is in reverse (ie for parking, etc). The first time I took the car to the dealership where it was purchased and they simply reset the computer. The problem persisted so I returned to the dealership. The second time we were told the problem was the clutch packs and they were replaced. The problem continued and the third time the mechatronic unit was replaced. The problem is still ongoing and I just dropped it off to the dealership again.

- Hibbs, PA, USA

problem #19

Aug 262009


  • 21,400 miles
When shifting into reverse and taking foot off the brakes, vehicle launches backward. I have to wait a few seconds after shifting into reverse before taking foot off the brakes to avoid launching. Never experienced this in another vehicle.

- Overland Park, KS, USA

problem #18

Jun 012009


  • 12,000 miles
08 VW Jetta dsg trans. After the trans is warmed up, the car is jerky taking off from a stop, as if the clutch is not engaged properly. On a few occasions, it seemed that no power was being transmitted to the wheels, leaving the vehicle in the middle of an intersection. Once the rpms came down, the trans. Engaged, and the car became mobile again. The "jerkiness" from a stop is almost all the time once the car warms up, the total lack of power transmission has only happened once or twice. The car was tested by the VW dealer service dept. A new mechtronic unit is on order.

- Parksville, NY, USA

problem #17

Aug 072009


  • 5,729 miles
1. this event occurs constantly under all conditions 2. the transmission will jerk from a start causing discomfort and irritation 3. nothing has been done to prevent this issue.

- Glen Allen, VA, USA

problem #16

Jul 252009


  • 3,000 miles


We purchased a 2008 Volkswagen Jetta wolfsberg edition. From a dealership on staten island. The car now has approximately 5,000 miles on the odometer. We began to notice that the car would lunge forward from a starting position while in drive or lunge backwards from a starting position while in reverse. The car makes very jerky, jolty movements forward. We have taken it to the dealership open road in brooklyn, NY. The mechanics believe it is a transmission issue. The part is on order, but the dealership has said it is safe to drive until the part comes in from germany. Although they offered us a "rental" car just in case we felt uncomfortable. I read today (August 21st) that VW in conjunction with the NHTSA is recalling several VW's due to problems with the dct in the transmission. I am concerned that this problem may involve more than the cars listed, as I am sure that our vehicle is affected by this defect.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #15

Jun 082009


  • 7,500 miles
Failure of VW dsg transmission after 7000 miles.

- Scarsdale, NY, USA

problem #14

Aug 172009


  • 25,000 miles
I have had my 08 VW Jetta wolfsburg with dsg transmission for a little over a year and have driven it 25000 miles. The transmission has never really been perfect but I put the various clunks, hesitations and hard shifts down to the transmission technology rather than a potential failure. However, as time has gone by I have noticed an increased tendency for the car to surge when attempting to slowly reverse. This causes repeated sudden accelerations much greater than anticipated with the small amount in throttle input. Given that I need to negotiate my child's daycare facility parking lot twice a day this situation has become a real safety concern for me. A similar problem occurs when very slowly starting forward from a complete stop. This situation is not quite as serious a concern for me but is at least very annoying. Primarily I am concerned about the ability to safely reverse my vehicle and maintain control of my speed in doing so.

- Maricopa, AZ, USA

problem #13

Aug 102009


  • 13,000 miles
2008 Volkswagen Jetta gli with dsg transmission. This car has a faulty dsg transmission which makes the car unsafe to drive. The car shifts roughly, bucks while rolling in stop and go traffic, and rolls backwards an excessive distance when shifting into park on a hill (nose pointing uphill). This is a dangerous defect.

- Weymouth, MA, USA

problem #12

Jan 012009


  • 10,000 miles
2008 Volkswagen Jetta wolfsburg w/ dsg transmission, 22K miles. After warming up, there is significant lurching and stuttering from a stop when in D(rive), S(port) or "manual" mode. When in D & S, there is often times a harsh downshift into 3rd or 2nd gear. Engine almost dies when coming to a stop on occasion, then lurches forward. In reverse, there is almost no response to pressing the accelerator for a split second, then the car lunges backwards very nearly causing a crash on multiple occasions. Problem has been occurring for approx 6 months. I originally thought it may need a regular servicing to fix, but the recommended interval isn't until 40K miles. Currently waiting on appt at dealer to have it looked at.

- Amherst, NH, USA

problem #11

Jun 152009


  • 21,126 miles
1. this issue is more prevalent when the car is warmed up, like after driving for 20 or 30 minutes or so. 2. my car (VW Jetta '08 dsg) automatic tranny operation fails usually when in 1st gear (while in 'd' mode) or in reverse so that you experience very bad "lurching" and surging effect. The car would suddenly rev and jump forward a foot or two then feel like it was idling wrong and feel like it was going to die, then run fine then do it all over again. This could cause serious accident because car wouldn't have power to move when its needed for example in T-junction. 3. I called the dealer and they want to get the car in to fix the bad mechatronics unit. The new mechatronics unit part was ordered and it will take "some time" (no less than one month), no exact date was given when then new part is available and ready for replacing. I fear that the dsg repairing is not the final solution and it will take lots of repairs to get this thing eventually fixed. *note* car VIN site didn't accept it for some reason.

- Jokela, Finland, 00, USA

problem #10

Jun 122009


  • 31,000 miles
I'm going on my 3rd dsg/mechatronics unit. I have a 08 wolfsburg with 31,000 miles. The very first day I had the car in broke down with 101 miles on it. Flashing prnds and it would not shift into any other gears or reverse. Had it towed to dealer and waited 3 weeks for new mechatronics unit. For a few days it was fine then it started with jerking, hard down shifts from 3 to 1 in drive. Backing up was scary at times. Brought it back to the same dealer 4 different times and they said this was normal for dsg. Got tired of hearing the same story from them and took it to another dealership and they said it was mechatronics unit and its on order since June 12,2009 and today is July 25, 2009 and still waiting for my car to be fixed.

- Deerfield Beach, FL, USA

problem #9

Jun 012009


  • 10,000 miles
My Jetta wolfsburg is currently in shop due to a dsg mechatronic unit failure. Prior to bringing it in the car was 'jerky' and 'jumpy' as though I was driving a manual transmission and releasing the clutch too fast. This happened in both drive and reverse. My car currently has ~ 12000 miles on it and the issue began around 10000 miles. The jumpiness of the car was significant enough that I backed into a wall (luckily at low speed) even with slight brake pressure (the car lurched backwards suddenly). The dealer believes that the replacement of the mechatronic unit should solve the problem. I have been waiting for the part to come in for 2 weeks now and am driving a loaner in the mean time.

- Stamford, CT, USA

problem #8

Jul 012009


  • 10,000 miles
While driving my 2008 Volkswagen gli sedan equipped with a dsg transmission I have on numerous occasions either while accelerating or slowing had sudden, rough shifts, and at times have been literally bucked around in the vehicle while shifting from 1st to 2nd gear when leaving a stop light. This has been happening since February 2009...possibly before, and has been increasing in frequency. I have also had rough shifts downshifting at times causing the esp to become activated in my vehicle making it feel like I am losing traction. I understand there is an official investigation in to this and would like to have my stories added to the investigation. PE09-035. I have taken my vehicle in for service on this before and they denied any problems with the vehicle.

- Sequim, WA, USA

problem #7

Jul 212009


  • miles
I have a 2008 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0T wolfsburg edition with the dsg transmission. Around 5,000 miles, I started experiencing banging of gears when I was start up at a light, the problem continued to get worse to the point my neck was hurting and the front seat of the car has become loose due to the constant force of the banging. Most recently on my way to the dealer, the car banged into gear and started to roll back (not like it does normally on a hill, this was after that should of happened) before it moved forward. I've also experience the car revving and not going into gear then in bangs into gear and surges forward at a higher speed then which you hit the gas. My car is currently being looked at. But from what I understand multiple complaints are posted for this same issue. Volkswagen needs to address the issue and recall the transmissions, as the symptoms get worse the car becomes a danger to drive.

- Delran, NJ, USA

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